Quantcast
Connect with us
NBA Slam Dunk Contest

The most epic dunks from the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest

The 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest is already being hailed as one of the greatest ever, and it might be the most controversial.

Derrick Jones Jr. of the Miami Heat took the crown, but not after Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon put on a spectacle that included five straight 50s — a streak that ended after he jumped over a 7-foot-5 guy, earning a shocking 47 (investigations are underway).

Gordon was justifiably peeved after being robbed for a second time, saying “it’s a wrap” for him in these contests. If that’s the last we see Gordon in a Slam Dunk Contest, well, it was an honor.

Derrick Jones Jr. wasn’t exactly Justin Morneau to Gordon’s Josh Hamilton. Jones — maybe the NBA’s best in-game dunker — put on a great show, too.

Milwaukee Bucks guard and burgeoning real estate tycoon Pat Connaughton couldn’t quite hang with Gordon and Jones, but still had a respectable first round. Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, aiming to become the oldest dunk winner at 34, updated his Superman dunk in a tribute to Kobe Bryant.

It was one of the most entertaining Slam Dunk Contests in recent memory and another otherworldly aerial display by a few of the NBA’s premier slam maestros. Here are a few of the best dunks.

Pat Connaughton over Giannis, with backboard tap

The most underrated dunk of the night, IMO. Pat vaulted over Giannis Antetokounmpo, double-clutched it, and had enough hangtime left to tap the backboard before finishing. It properly earned a 50.

Derrick Jones Jr. “Reverse Tornado through-the-legs”

A perfectly executed full-360, with enough time for a slight pause when finally facing the rim. Jones also throws down his dunks hard with his left to add a punctuation to each one.

Aaron Gordon over Chance the Rapper, the first time

AG remains not just one of the NBA’s highest flyers, but one of the most original dunkers. He’s skilled at taking a popular concept (jumping over someone/something, off the side of the backboard) and adding some cool subversion that ups the degree of difficulty. That’s on display in his first dunk over Chance — a double-clutch one-handed half-reverse … something.

Derrick Jones Jr. off-the-backboard, between-the-legs

Jones clearly has this through-the-legs thing down. He executed a variety of through-the-legs dunks, throwing each down with vicious power. His best dunk of the night was his first final round 50 — an off-the-backboard and between-the-legs slam that turned Dwyane Wade into an instant meme.

Aaron Gordon off the side backboard with windmill finish

Honestly, this may be the most beautiful dunk I’ve ever seen. It’s utterly unique, smooth and swooping, and looks impossible. I’m actually glad it took him a couple tries to make it — the immediate “holy shh” reaction of all the courtside players after Gordon teased it on his first jump made it all the more hyper when he pulled it off.

Aaron Gordon over Tacko Fall

This should have been the capper to a well-deserved victory. A few of Gordon’s earlier dunks were more spectacular and acrobatic, but simply jumping over a 7-foot-5 human is a feat that we can’t overlook. By all accounts, the Fall-Gordon collab was completely improvised (makes sense in an unplanned dunk-off), which makes it substantially more amazing when you consider that Gordon couldn’t have been 100% sure he could do it, but went for it anyway.

This capped off an epic night of NBA dunking, though fans would have loved more.